‘Embarrassed’ Chinese cyclist launches astonishing assault on rival team members after accidental fall during Tour of Hainan race
Police are forced to intervene when Chinese rider Wang Xin assaults members of the Swiss Cycling Team
China’s Keyi Look cycling team were booted out of the Tour of Hainan after one of their riders launched an incredible assault on staff members from a rival team.
Police were forced to intervene when Chinese rider Wang Xin threw a water bottle at the car of the Swiss Cycling Team before confronting team members again at the conclusion of the stage when he viciously assaulted one of the members, who was seen on the ground being punched and kicked.
The incident, which was captured on film, saw police officers struggle to control Wang as the confrontation turned heated after a crash midway through stage seven of the race.
In the footage, Wang is seen fighting with one member of the Swiss team before launching a water bottle at another, and then moving to his team car to pick up a tyre pump, seemingly intending to use it as a weapon.
Wang, 25, appeared to blame his mid-race crash on the driver of the Swiss team’s car, but they claimed he had gone down after accidentally hitting the back wheel of another rider.
“The reports published by the media that we bumped into the Chinese rider are wrong,” Swiss Cycling Team manager Danilo Hondo told Eurosport. “We never bumped into him. You can see that from the race video. He simply hit the back wheel of another rider and went down. He was obviously embarrassed and took out his frustration on us.”
“We tried to approach him after the race, in fact we waited 45 minutes after the finish for him to cross to apologise for any misunderstandings and to show him and his team that we respect them and meant no harm. But both he and his team approached us with anger and everything escalated from there.”
Race organisers later ruled that Wang and his Keyi Look team would be excluded from the Tour of Hainan race and barred from participating again in future.
“Following the incident post-stage involving rider Wang Xin, the organising committee of the Tour of Hainan decided, in agreement with the Chinese Cycling Association and the commissaires panel, to disqualify from the race the entire Keyi Look team before further action to be taken by CCA,” race organisers said in a statement.
“The team was instructed to leave the island of Hainan on the spot and will not be welcomed back at the Tour of Hainan. In any race circumstances, every participant must follow the rules of the UCI and the CCA and refrain from any violent or disrespectful behaviour that would damage the image of the sport. Wang’s behaviour is not acceptable and doesn’t reflect Chinese cycling. Hainan people are known for being very friendly. The image and the reputation of the Tour of Hainan cannot be tarnished by such improper behaviour. Fighting will never be permitted in this event.”
Wang’s teammates, who were also dumped from the event, condemned their rider’s conduct.
The nine-stage UCI Asia Tour road race concludes on Sunday with a 153.8-kilometre sprint stage from Lingshui to Wanning Xinglong.